(I now have an agent for such mysteries as movie rights and foreign translations.) A large part of all early contributions to published an average of fifty new writers a year.
Magazines that refuse unsolicited manuscripts strike me as lazy, incurious, self-assured, and self-important. There may be some justification for a technical journal to limit its list of contributors to persons who are known to be qualified.
If it happens that your parents concern themselves so little with the workings of boys’ minds as to christen you Elwyn Brooks White, no doubt you decide as early as possible to identify yourself as E. White, then, following a variant of the principle that everybody named Rhodes winds up being nicknamed “Dusty,” you wind up being nicknamed “Andy.” And so it has come about that for fifty of his seventy years Elwyn Brooks White has been known to his readers as E. What a mountain of good work they have accumulated in that fashion!
If it also happens that you attend Cornell, whose first president was Andrew D. Years ago, in a Christmas doggerel, Edmund Wilson saluted them for possessing “” and it was always wonderful to behold the intuitive seesaw adjustments by which one of them got well in time for the other to get sick.
I had a great deal of writing, but I lacked confidence in my ability to put it to good use.
I went abroad one summer and on my return to New York found an accumulation of mail at my apartment.I never submitted a manuscript with a covering letter or through an agent.I used to put my manuscript in the mail, along with a stamped envelope for the rejection.He wanders over the pastures of his Maine farm or, for that matter, along the labyrinthine corridors of offices on West Forty-Third Street with the off-hand grace of a dancer making up a sequence of steps that the eye follows with delight and that defies any but his own notation.Clues to the bold and delicate nature of those steps are to be discovered in every line he writes, but the man and his work are so nearly one that, try as we will, we cannot tell the dancer from the dance. Andy and Katharine have been married for forty years, and in that time they have been separated so rarely that I find it impossible to think of one without the other.Certainly they have been the strongest and most productive unhealthy couple that I have ever encountered, but I no longer dare to make fun of their ailments.I took the letters, unopened, and went to a Childs restaurant on Fourteenth Street, where I ordered dinner and began opening my mail.From one envelope, two or three checks dropped out, from .White.” (Roger Angell is the son of her marriage to a distinguished New York attorney, Ernest Angell; she and Andy have a son, Joe, who is a naval architect and whose boatyard is a thriving enterprise in the Whites’ hometown of Brooklin, Maine.) At the risk of reducing a man’s life to a sort of Merck’s Manual, I may mention that Andy White’s personal physician, Dana Atchley- giving characteristically short shrift to a psychosomatic view of his old friend- has described him as having a Rolls Royce mind in a Model T body.With Andy, this would pass for a compliment, because in the tyranny of his modesty he would always choose to be a Ford instead of a Rolls, but it would be closer to the truth to describe him as a Rolls Royce mind in a Rolls Royce body that unaccountably keeps bumping to a stop and humming to itself, not without infinite pleasure to others along the way.